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PALEONEWS: Scientist Deduces Perching Dinosaur



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This is a CNN custom news article.
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I recommend registering at cnn.com for your own 
custom news to access the article online-   -Betty
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Scientist Deduces Perching Dinosaur 

BEIJING (June 2) XINHUA - A Chinese paleontologist has deduced that a
small Mesozoic dinosaur could perch on trees and develop the ability to
fly by gliding through the trees. 

In a speech delivered to the ongoing Fifth International Meeting of the
Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution and the Jehol Biota, Zhou
Zhonghe, curator of bird fossils, discussed this controversial subject
of the origin of flight. 

Zhou, professor with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of
Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), claimed that
Caudipteryx, a theropod dinosaur which lived some 100 million years ago,
was able to climb trees. 

"Fossilized specimens show that this kind of feathered dinosaur had
claws which are necessary for perching animals," said the 35- year-old
bird expert. 

Academic circles widely believe that Caudipteryx had many similarities
to modern birds. 

"The lineal ancestors of birds most likely lived in trees," Zhou said. 

The dinosaur's forelimbs gradually became wings which supported them as
they learned to fly, the professor said. At the same time, the structure
of Caudipteryx's feet was almost the same as the claws of modern birds. 

While Zhou and several other scientists hold to this new theory, most
researchers who believe in the dinosaur-bird relationship claim that
dinosaurs learned to fly while running fast. 

"I could list many pieces of evidence for the evolutionary development
from dinosaurs to primitive birds," Zhou said. 

Scholars from around the world attending the international meeting said
that Zhou's proposal may arouse another round of heated discussions. 


-- 
Flying Goat Graphics
http://www.flyinggoat.com
(Society of Vertebrate Paleontology member)
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